Thursday, October 26, 2017

Grand Ole Opry 10/27 & 10/28

The Grand Ole Opry has posted the line-ups for the three shows this weekend, which will be the final weekend shows for this year at the Grand Ole Opry House. Beginning next weekend, the Opry moves downtown to the Ryman Auditorium and will return to the Opry House beginning in February.

The big news this weekend is that the Opry is going to honor Bill Anderson on Saturday night with a birthday salute in honor of Bill's 80th birthday, which will take place on November 1st. Personally, I am very happy that the Opry is doing this. I think we can all remember that when Jimmy Dickens was alive, they seemed to honor Jimmy every year on his birthday and Opry anniversary date and I can also remember when the Opry had the 80th birthday show for George Jones. It is nice that they are recognizing other Opry members also and I hope it is the start of a trend. And let's not forget that Bill has been an Opry member for 56 years and the argument can be made that he is one of the greatest all-around country artists of all time; when you consider his recording, songwriting, book writing, and television show hosting career. He has really done it all.

Saturday night is the only night for Bill at the Opry this weekend, however there are a number of Grand Ole Opry members who will be appearing both nights: John Conlee, Mike Snider, Riders In The Sky, Ricky Skaggs and The Whites. Joining that group on Friday night will be members Diamond Rio and Bobby Osborne, while in addition to Bill on Saturday night, Jeannie Seely, Connie Smith and Steve Wariner will be appearing.

Guest artists this weekend include the iconic Sons of the Pioneers on Friday night, joining Mark Wills (scheduled for both nights), Jeanne Robertson and Point of Grace. On Saturday night, in addition to Mark, Mo Pitney and newly inducted Hall of Fame member Don Schlitz will be performing. For Don, this will be his Grand Ole Opry debut.

Friday October 27
7:00: John Conlee (host); Mike Snider
7:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Mark Wills; Sons of the Pioneers
8:15: Diamond Rio (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Jeanne Robertson
8:45: Ricky Skaggs (host); The Whites; Point of Grace

Saturday October 28
1st show
7:00: John Conlee (host); Mo Pitney; Mike Snider
7:30: Steve Wariner (host); Riders In The Sky; Jeannie Seely
8:00: Ricky Skaggs (host); The Whites; Connie Smith; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Bill Anderson (host); Mark Wills; Don Schlitz

2nd show
9:30: John Conlee (host); Mo Pitney; Mike Snider
10:00: Steve Wariner (host); Riders In The Sky; Jeannie Seely
10:30: Ricky Skaggs (host); The Whites; Connie Smith; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Bill Anderson (host); Mark Wills; Don Schlitz

As mentioned, Don Schlitz is one of the newest members of the Country Music Hall of Fame, having been formally inducted last Sunday night along with Alan Jackson and Jerry Reed. Don, who is 65, is from Durham, North Carolina and has won two Grammys and four ASCAP Country Songwriter of the Year awards. He also has won several Song of the Year awards from the Country Music Association. In addition to the Country Music Hall of Fame, he is a member of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.

His first big hit as a songwriter was Kenny Rogers' "The Gambler." Among other songs written by Don have been "Forever and Ever, Amen" recorded by Randy Travis and "When You Say Nothing at All," a hit for Keith Whitley. Many will also recognize these song titles, all written by Don Schlitz: "40 Hour Week (For A Livin')," "Crazy from the Heart," "Daddy's Come Around,' "The Greatest," "He Thinks He'll Keep Her," "I Feel Lucky." "I Watched It All (On My Radio)," and "On the Other Hand." Those are just a few of the dozens and dozens he has written.

And now, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from 10 years ago, the weekend of October 26 & 27, 2007:

Friday October 26
8:00: Jim Ed Brown (host); Mel McDaniel; George Hamilton IV; Little Texas
8:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); The Whites; Del McCoury Band
9:00: Bill Anderson (host); Connie Smith; Craig Morgan
9:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Charlie Walker; Jimmy C Newman; Charlie Daniels Band

Saturday October 27
1st show
6:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Jimmy C Newman; The Whites
7:00: Vince Gill (host); Josh Turner; Rissi Palmer; Del McCoury Band
8:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jan Howard; Mandy Barnett; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Bill Anderson (host); Connie Smith; Daryle Singletary

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); The Whites; Jeannie Seely; Rissi Palmer
10:00: Jim Ed Brown (host); w/Helen Cornelius; Mel McDaniel; Mandy Barnett; Del McCoury Band
10:30: Vince Gill (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Connie Smith; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Bill Anderson (host); Daryle Singletary; Josh Turner

The Saturday night show was special as it was the night that Josh Turner became a member of the Grand Ole Opry.

Combining respect for country music's traditions with a contemporary edge has made Josh Turner one of the industry's most successful young artists. He burst on the scene with "Long Black Train," also the title of his 2003 platinum-selling debut album, and has since scored such chart-topping hits as "Your Man," "Would You Go With Me," and "All Over Me."

A graduate of Nashville's Belmont University, it was Josh's songwriting that first caught the attention of Music Row and led to a publishing deal then to a record deal, as well. His debut album sold more than a million copies and his second effort, "Your Man" debuted at No. 1 on Billboard magazine's Top Country Albums chart. His third album, 2007's "Everything Is Fine," yielded the hit "Firecracker," and his fourth studio album "Haywire," released in 2010, spawned the chart-topping tune "Why Don't We Just Dance." His 2012 album "Punching Bag" produced the hit "Time Is Love."

Inducted into the Opry in 2007, Josh says the camaraderie between artists backstage is something he treasures. "At the Opry, you just have to do a song or two and everything is already set up so it leaves time to mingle and get to know people," he says. "There's always so many artists here, it's like a reunion every weekend. You get to come here and see people you've known for a long time or you get to meet new people. It's a really cool way to network and get to know your fellow artists." He also appreciates the way the Opry helps him connect with fans. "The Opry draws in a lot of people from all over the country," he says." "That's the coolest thing about the Opry. Many different artists, old and new, can come and showcase their talent to a new crowd every weekend. That's been a great avenue of promotion and way to stay out there in front of the people and debut new music."

Now from 25 years ago, the weekend of October 30 & 31, 1992:

Friday October 30
1st show
6:30: Bill Anderson (host); Del Reeves; Skeeter Davis; Ray Pillow; Billy Walker
7:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jim Ed Brown; Jeannie Seely; The 4 Guys; Stonewall Jackson
7:30: Grandpa Jones (host); Connie Smith; Jimmy C Newman; George Hamilton IV; Brother Oswald & The Smoky Mountain Boys
8:00: Bill Monroe (host); Jean Shepard; The Whites; Bill Carlisle
8:30: Hank Snow (host); Jimmy Dickens; Jack Greene; Osborne Brothers

2nd show
9:30: Porter Wagoner (host); George Hamilton IV: Bill Carlisle; The 4 Guys
10:00: Grandpa Jones (host); Del Reeves; Riders In The Sky; Billy Walker; Brother Oswald & The Smokey Mountain Boys
10:30: Bill Monroe (host); Bill Anderson; Jean Shepard; Charlie Walker; Connie Smith
11:00: Hank Snow (host); Jack Greene; Osborne Brothers; Justin Tubb; The Whites
11:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jeannie Seely; Jimmy C Newman; Johnny Russell

Saturday October 31
1st show
6:30: Bill Anderson (host); Jeanne Pruett
6:45: Bill Monroe (host); Jim Ed Brown; Ray Pillow
7:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Connie Smith; Charlie Louvin; Jimmy Dickens; Osborne Brothers
7:30: Jimmy C Newman (host); Riders In The Sky; Johnny Russell; Wilma Lee Cooper; Alison Krauss & Union Station
8:00: Grandpa Jones (host); Jean Shepard; Gerry Ford; George Hamilton IV; Roy Drusky; Brother Oswald & The Smoky Mountain Boys; Opry Square Dance Band; Melvin Sloan Dancers
8:30: Hank Snow (host); Del Reeves; The Whites; The 4 Guys; Jack Greene

2nd show
9:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Skeeter Davis; Roy Drusky; Billy Walker; Alison Krauss & Union Station
10:00: Bill Monroe (host); Mike Snider
10:15: Stonewall Jackson (host); George Hamilton IV
10:30: Grandpa Jones (host); Charlie Louvin; Bill Carlisle
10:45: Bill Anderson (host); Jeannie Seely; Opry Square Dance Band; Melvin Sloan Dancers
11:00: Hank Snow (host); Charlie Walker; Justin Tubb; Osborne Brothers; Riders In The Sky
11:30: Jack Greene (host); Jean Shepard; Jim Ed Brown; The Whites; Johnny Russell

Finally from 50 years ago, Saturday October 28, 1967:

1st show
6:30: Willis Brothers (host); Harold Weakly; Cousin Jody
6:45: Ernie Ashworth (host); Jan Howard; Hugh X Lewis
7:00: Del Reeves (host); Lonzo & Oscar; Charlie Walker; Rita Faye; Fred Carter
7:30: Bill Anderson (host); Skeeter Davis; Jimmy Gately; Stringbean; Jerry Green
8:00: Ernest Tubb (host); Del Wood; Jeannie Seely; Crook Brothers; Stoney Mountain Cloggers; Cal Smith
8:30: George Hamilton IV (host); Glaser Brothers; Marion Worth; Pete Sayers; Spider Wilson

2nd show
9:30: Bill Anderson (host); Willis Brothers; Jan Howard; Stringbean; Fruit Jar Drinkers
10:00: Ernest Tubb (host); Cousin Jody; Cal Smith
10:15: George Hamilton IV (host); Skeeter Davis;
10:30: Charlie Walker (host); Del Wood; Hugh X Lewis
10:45: Del Reeves (host); Lonzo & Oscar; Crook Brothers; Stoney Mountain Cloggers
11:00: Glaser Brothers (host); Jeannie Seely; Fred Carter; Fruit Jar Drinkers; Sam & Kirk McGee
11:30: Marty Robbins (host); Marion Worth; Jerry Green; Pete Sayers; Don Winters

To finish it up for this week, it was 44 years ago, Saturday October 27, 1973 that Jerry Clower became a member of the Grand Ole Opry.

Howard Gerald "Jerry" Clower was born in Liberty, Mississippi on September 28, 1926. After high school, he entered the Navy and was discharged in 1946. He studied agriculture at Mississippi State University, where he played on the college football team. After finishing school in 1951, he worked as a county agent and later as a seed salesman. In 1954, he began work at Mississippi Chemical as a fertilizer salesman. By that time, he had gained a reputation for telling stories to boost his sales. Tapes of his speaking engagements would up in the hands of Edwin Wilkes and Bud Andrews in Lubbock, Texas, who had him make a better quality recording which they promoted.

For a number of years, Jerry would sell copies of his record at his speaking engagements. However, Wilkes sent a copy of Jerry's recordings to Grant Tuner at WSM and it was played on the air. After that, MCA Records offered Jerry a contract. Once MCA began distribution in 1971, "Jerry Clower from Yazoo City, Mississippi Talkin'" retailed more than a million dollars over 10 months and stayed in the top 20 on the country charts for 30 weeks, and "The Coon Hunt" was awarded a platinum record for sales in excess of $1 million. During the coarse of his career, Jerry made 27 albums, all with MCA with the exception of one, "Ain't God Good" that was recorded during a worship service and released, with MCA's blessing, on another label.

By the early 1970s, Jerry was doing stage shows and was being hired as a motivational speaker. He co-hosted a radio show called Country Crossroads with Bill Mack and Leroy Van Dyke, that aired in syndication for 40 years. A television version of the show was later produced, also staring Jerry,.

Jerry Clower became a member of the Grand Ole Opry on October 27, 1973 and remained an Opry member until his death on August 24, 1998 at the age of 71 following heart bypass surgery. When Jerry joined the Opry cast, he was the last member to join prior to the Opry's move to the new Grand Ole Opry House.

Here is the running order from Saturday October 27, 1973, the night Jerry Clower became a member of the Grand Ole Opry:

1st show
6:30: Mrs Grissoms
Osborne Brothers (host): Fireball Mail
Bill Carlisle: What Kinda Deal is This
Sonny Osborne: Earl's Breakdown

6:45: Rudy's
Willis Brothers (host): Chant of the Plains
Louie Roberts: Singing the Blues/Lovesick Blues
Willis Brothers: Cool Water

7:00: Rudy's
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper (host): Don't Let Your Sweet Love Die
Jim & Jesse: A Bird with Broken Wing's Can't Fly
Hank Wada: Columbus Stockade Blues
Wilma Lee Cooper: I Don't Care (If Tomorrow Never Comes)
Jim & Jesse: Ashes of Love
Hank Wada: Jambalaya
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper: I Shall Not be Moved

7:30: Standard Candy
Porter Wagoner (host); Wake Up, Jacob
Dolly Parton: Joshua
Crook Brothers: Cray Eagle
Harold Weakley: Is Anyone Going to San Antone
Dolly Parton: My Blue Ridge Mountain Boy
Porter Wagoner & Dolly Parton: Daddy was an Old Time Preacher Man
Mack McGaha: Mockingbird/Orange Blossom Special
Porter Wagoner: What Ain't to Be Just Might Happen

8:00: Martha White
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Grandpa Jones: Kitty Klide
Del Wood: There's a Big Wheel
Jerry Clower: I'm That Country
Grandpa Jones: Any Old Time
Roy Acuff: I Saw the Light

8:30: Stephens
Hank Snow (host): Miller's Cave
Bobby Bare: Ride Me Down Easy
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Nubbing Ridge
Hank Snow: It Kinda Reminds Me of Me
Bobby Bare: Come Sundown
Ray Pillow: I Wish Somebody Loved Me That Much
Hank Snow: Tammy

2nd show
9:30: Kellogg's
Osborne Brothers (host): Rocky Top
Willis Brothers: Pretty Diamonds
Louie Roberts: Way Out There
Del Wood: There's a Big Wheel
Osborne Brothers: You Win Again/Today I Started Loving You Again
Willis Brothers: Bob
Osborne Brothers: Ruby

10:00: Fender
Jim & Jesse (host): I've Been Everywhere
Bill Carlisle: Jack of All Trades
Jim & Jesse: Johnny B Goode

10:15: Union 76
Porter Wagoner (host): Company's Comin'
Dolly Parton: My Tennessee Mountain Home
Porter Wagoner & Dolly Parton: We Found It/If Teardrops Were Pennies

10:30: Trailblazer
Roy Acuff (host): Cottonfields/Night Train to Memphis
Grandpa Jones: Banjo Sam
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper: Little Darling Pal of Mine
Larry McNeely: Breakaway

10:45: Beech-Nut
Bobby Bare (host): Detroit City
Jerry Clower: The Coon Hunt
Crook Brothers: Eighth of January
Bobby Bare: The Streets of Baltimore

11:00: Coca-Cola
Hank Snow (host): The Wreck of the Old 97/One More Ride
Ray Pillow: She's Doing it to Me Again
Hank Wada: Columbus Stockade Blues
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Old hen Cackle
Hank Snow: Black Diamond
Sam McGee: Worry, Worry Blues
Hank Snow: Send Me the Pillow You Dream On

11:30: Elm Hill
Marty Robbins (host): Devil Woman
Mary Lou Turner: Slipping Away/Poor Sweet Baby
Marty Mitchell: Washed My Hands in Muddy Water/You Gave Me a Mountain
Marty Robbins: Love Me/Big Boss Man/Don't Worry/It's Not Love/El Paso

There you have it for this week. I hope everyone enjoys the Opry this weekend and Happy Birthday to Bill Anderson!!!

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Tuesday Night Opry 10/24 & Opry Country Classics 10/26

The Grand Ole Opry does many special shows though out the year with one of those special nights taking place on a Tuesday night in October when the "Opry Goes Pink" to honor and recognize breast cancer awareness. The Opry backdrop goes pink at the turn of the switch and this year Kelsea Ballerini will do the honors. Also scheduled will be the first Opry appearance this year of Trisha Yearwood. Could Garth make a surprise appearance? Sometimes yes, sometimes no.

Tuesday October 24

7:00: Easton Corbin; Runaway June; LANCO; Connie smith
8:15: Charles Esten; Trisha Yearwood; Kelsea Ballerini

Opry Country Classics this week will feature Crystal Gayle as the spotlight artist, with another very solid line-up

Host: Bill Cody
Spotlight Artist: Crystal Gayle
Also Appearing: T. Graham Brown; Gatlin Brothers; Wade Hayes; Rebecca Lynn Howard; T.G. Sheppard w/Kelly Lang


Thursday, October 19, 2017

Grand Ole Opry 10/20 & 10/21---Updated

The Opry filled out the line-up and moved a few folks around. For Friday night, Tegan Marie and Jimmy Fortune have been added. For Saturday night, John Berry has been added for both shows. Also, I did want to mention that Jimmy Fortune will be the host of this week's Ernest Tubb Midnight Jamboree. Line-ups listed below are the updated ones.

Over the past several weeks, lots has been going on at the Grand Ole Opry, including the Opry's 92nd birthday bash, Chris Young's induction as the Opry's newest cast member, and the announcement by Ryman Hospitality of the renovation of the Grand Ole Opry House. After all that, it would seem that we would be due for a quiet weekend at the Opry, and that seems to be what we are looking at this weekend.

That said, when looking initially at the Opry line-ups for this weekend, they look pretty thin. Grand Ole Opry members scheduled for both nights include Connie Smith, Mike Snider, The Whites, Riders In The Sky, and Dailey & Vincent (who are proving quickly to be good Opry members). Those are the only Opry members for Friday night, while on Saturday Bill Anderson is set for both shows while Bobby Osborne is scheduled for just the late one.

As to guest artists this weekend, Friday night will feature The Isaacs, with special guest Terry Bradshaw. Yes, this former NFL quarterback is a singer; in fact way back he had a hit on the charts! He has appeared on the Opry previously and it is nice to see him back for this special appearance. Also on Friday will be Craig Campbell and Carly Pearce, who will be signing copies of her new CD in the Opry show, as well as promoting the new music on the Opry itself.

Saturday night will feature Jamey Johnson, who always does a very nice job when doing the Opry, along with Ray Scott and Maggie Rose.

Friday October 20
7:00: Connie Smith (host); Craig Campbell; Mike Snider
7:30: The Whites (host); T Graham Brown; Carly Pearce
8:15: Riders In The Sky (host); Tegan Marie; Jimmy Fortune
8:45: Dailey & Vincent (host); The Isaacs w/Terry Bradshaw

Saturday October 21
1st show
7:00: Connie Smith (host); Ray Scott; Mike Snider
7:30: Bill Anderson (host); The Whites; Maggie Rose
8:00: Riders In The Sky (host); John Berry; Opry  Square Dancers
8:30: Dailey & Vincent (host); Jamey Johnson

2nd show
9:30: Connie Smith (host); Ray Scott; Mike Snider
10:00: Bill Anderson (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Maggie Rose
10:30: Riders In The Sky (host); John Berry; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Dailey & Vincent (host); Jamey Johnson

As I mentioned, pretty thin on the numbers. Hopefully we see an add or two as there are spots available.

And now, there is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from 10 years ago, the weekend of October 19 & 20, 2007, which was also the weekend of the Opry's 82nd birthday weekend:

Friday October 19
1st show
7:00: Mike Snider (host); Jeannie Seely; Jimmy C Newman; Carolina Rain
7:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Dale Ann Bradley; Neal McCoy
8:00: Jim Ed Brown (host); Charlie Louvin; Jack Greene; Rebecca Lynn Howard
8:30: Bill Anderson (host); Riders In The Sky; Steve Wariner

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jim Ed Brown; Dale Ann Bradley
10:00: Mike Snider (host); George Hamilton IV; Rebecca Lynn Howard
10:30: Bill Anderson (host); Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Carolina Rain
11:00: Steve Wariner (host); Jack Greene; Riders In The Sky

Saturday October 20
1st show
6:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jim Ed Brown; Mike Snider
7:00: Carrie Underwood; Emerson Drive; Travis Tritt; Ronnie Milsap
8:00: Hal Ketchum (host); Jeannie Seely; Del McCoury Band; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Bill Anderson (host); Jimmy C Newman; The Whites; Vince Gill

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Riders In The Sky; Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Ronnie Milsap
10:00: Bill Anderson (host); Jan Howard; The Whites; Travis Tritt
10:30: Hal Ketchum (host); George Hamilton IV; Carrie Underwood; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Vince Gill (host); Jack Greene; Del McCoury Band; Emerson Drive

Now here is the Grand Ole Opry line-up from 25 years ago, the weekend of October 23 & 24, 1992. The Friday Night Opry was Roy Acuff's final Opry show.

Friday October 23
1st show
6:30: Grandpa Jones (host); Jim Ed Brown; Skeeter Davis; Jim & Jesse; Del Reeves
7:00: Bill Anderson (host); Jean Shepard; Johnny Russell; Ronna Reeves
7:30: Roy Acuff (host); Connie Smith; The 4 Guys; Charlie Walker
8:00: Bill Monroe (host); Jimmy C Newman; Billy Walker; Jimmy Dickens
8:30: Hank Snow (host); Jack Greene; The Whites; Osborne Brothers

2nd show
9:30: Bill Anderson (host); Jean Shepard; Ray Pillow; Ronna Reeves
10:00: Roy Acuff (host); Grandpa Jones; Jim & Jesse; Jan Howard
10:30: Bill Monroe (host); Wilma Lee Cooper; Stonewall Jackson; Charlie Louvin; Jeannie Seely
11:00: Hank Snow (host); Connie Smith; Hank Locklin; Justin Tubb; Bill Carlisle
11:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); The Whites; Jack Greene; The 4 Guys; Osborne Brothers

Saturday October 24
1st show
6:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); Jack Greene
6:45: Del Reeves (host); The Whites
7:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Skeeter Davis; Hank Locklin; Billy Walker; Connie Smith
7:30: Grandpa Jones (host); Osborne Brothers; Charlie Walker; Wilma Lee Cooper; The 4 Guys
8:00: Bill Anderson (host); Jimmy C Newman; Brother Oswald & The Smoky Mountain Boys; Jan Howard; Opry Square Dance Band; The Stoney Mountain Cloggers
8:30: Hank Snow (host); Mike Snider; Randy Travis

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Del Reeves; Charlie Walker; Skeeter Davis; Stonewall Jackson
10:00: Grandpa Jones (host); Roy Drusky; Bill Carlisle
10:15: George Hamilton IV (host); Brother Oswald & The Smoky Mountain Boys
10:30: Bill Anderson (host); The Whites
10:45: Jack Greene (host); Mike Snider; Opry Square Dance Band; The Stoney Mountain Cloggers
11:00: Hank Snow (host); The 4 Guys; Osborne Brothers; Justin Tubb; Ray Pillow
11:30: Jimmy C Newman (host); Jan Howard; Hank Locklin; Johnny Russell

50 years ago, Saturday October 21, 1967, the Grand Ole Opry celebrated its 42nd birthday. It was also the final night that The Browns performed as Opry members. Maxine and Bonnie announced their decision to retire and raise their families, while Jim Ed Brown would continue on as a solo member of the Opry. Here is the running order from that night at the Ryman Auditorium:

Early Show
6:00: Vietti
Bill Anderson (host): Bright Lights & Country Music
Osborne Brothers: Roll Muddy River
Ernie Ashworth: Tender & True
Del Wood: Piano Roll Blues
Stu Phillips: Little Old Wine Drinker Me
Bill Anderson: I Get the Fever
Charlie Walker: Don't Squeeze My Sharmon
Jimmy Gatley: Orange Blossom Special/She Want's to Be Like You

6:30: Mrs Grissoms
Bill Monroe (host): Uncle Pen
Willis Brothers: Bob
Cousin Jody: Mockingbird
Bill Monroe: Molly & Tenbrooks

6:45: Rudy's
Billy Walker (host): I Taught Her Everything She Knows
Stringbean: Gonna Make Myself A Name
Jim & Jesse: Ballad of Thunder Road
Billy Walker: Cattle Call

7:00: Luzianne
Porter Wagoner (host): Ol' Slewfoot
Hank Locklin: Country Hall of Fame
Bob Luman: Memphis
Minnie Pearl: Maple on the Hill
The 4 Guys: Walking in the Sunshine
Del Reeves: One Dime at a Time
Jeannie Seely: Don't Touch Me
Porter Wagoner: Cold Hard Facts of Life

7:30: Standard Candy
Roy Acuff (host): Ball Knob, Arkansas
Charlie Louvin: How Great Thou Art
Wilburn Brothers: Just to Be Where You Are
Loretta Lynn: What Kind of a Girl
Grandpa Jones: Old Dan Tucker
Bobby Lord: Shadows on the Wall
Bill Carlisle: Dr. R.D.
Ray Pillow: (?)
Roy Acuff: Cabin in Gloryland

8:00: Martha White
George Hamilton IV (host): Break My Mind
Jean Shepard: Happy Tracks
George Morgan: You're the Only Good Thing
The Browns: Looking Back to See/(?)/(?)/I Heard the Bluebird Sing/The Old Lamplighter/Scarlet Ribbons/The 3 Bells/Send Me the Pillow You Dream On
Crook Brothers: Cotton-Eyed Joe
Dottie West: Like A Fool
Jim Ed Brown: Pop A Top
George Hamilton IV: Truck Driving Man

8:30: Stephens
Ernest Tubb (host): Thanks A Lot
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper: Big Midnight Special
Tex Ritter: Just Beyond the Moon
Archie Campbell: The Cockfight
Glaser Brothers: Gone on the Other Hand
Skeeter Davis: The End of the World
Billy Grammer: Mabel
Margie Bowes: Bo Weevil

Late Show
9:30: Kellogg's
Hank Snow (host): I'm Moving On
Bill Monroe: You'll Find Her Name Written There
Bill Anderson: I Love You Drops
Marion Worth: A Woman Needs Love
Willis Brothers: Give Me 40 Acres
Grandpa Jones: Kitty Klyde
Del Wood: Waiting for the Robert E Lee
Norma Jean: Jackson Ain't a Very Big Place
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Cacklin Hen
Hank Snow: There's A Fool Such as I

10:00: Schick
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Wilburn Brothers: Troubles Back in Town
Loretta Lynn: What Kind of A Girl
Stringbean: Gonna Make Myself a Name
Jim & Jess: Diesel on My Tail
Roy Acuff: The Great Speckled Bird

10:15: Pure
Ernest Tubb (host) w/Loretta Lynn: Sweet Thang
Bobby Lord: Look What You're Doing to You
Charlie Louvin & Bobby Osborne: When I Stop Dreaming
Stu Phillips: Juanita Jones

10:30: Buckley's
Hank Snow (host): I've Been Everywhere
Skeeter Davis: What Does it Take
George Hamilton IV: Urge for Going
Jim Ed Brown: Bottle, Bottle
Hank Snow: (?)

10:45: Newport
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper (host): The Birds are Back
George Morgan: Misty Blue
Crook Brothers: Old Joe Clark
Margie Bowes: Overnight
Osborne Brothers: Roll Muddy River
Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper: There's A Big Wheel

11:00: Coca-Cola
Porter Wagoner (host): Dooley
Tex Ritter: A Working Man's Prayer
Jean Shepard: I Don't See How I Can Make It
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Devil's Dream
Hank Locklin: Country Hall of Fame
Sam McGee: (?)
The 4 Guys: Ruby
Del Reeves: Chug-A-Lug/(?)/(?)
Porter Wagoner: Julie

11:30: Lava
Roy Drusky (host): White Lightening Express
Bill Carlisle: No Help Wanted
Glaser Brothers: Through the Eyes of Love
Marion Worth: Tennessee Waltz
Ernie Ashworth: My Love for You
Ray Pillow: Take Your Hands off My Heart
Charlie Walker: Don't Squeeze My Sharmon
Roy Drusky: Anymore/Strangers/Second Hand Rose

Well, what can I say. Certainly a bit different than the birthday shows the past decade. Very few Opry members were missing that night, and for those keeping track at home, the show did not end until a little after 1:00 a.m.

Finally, moving ahead five years to Saturday October 21, 1972, when the Grand Ole Opry celebrated it's 47th anniversary:

1st show
6:00: Vietta
Bill Anderson (host): Wild Weekend
Jan Howard: I Don't Know No New York City Song
Roy Drusky: The Last Time I Called Somebody Darling
Justin Tubb: Traveling Singing Man
Del Wood: Snowbird
Bill Anderson & Jan Howard: Dis-Satisfied
Justin Tubb: Lonesome 7-7203
Bill Anderson: Don't She Look Good When She Smiles

6:30: Mrs. Grissoms
Bill Monroe (host): My Old Kentucky & You
Jim Ed Brown: Unbelievable Love
Charlie Louvin: Will You Visit Me on Sundays
Ernie Ashworth: Love; I Finally Found It

6:45: Rudy's
Porter Wagoner (host): What Ain't to Be Just Might Happen
Dolly Parton: Coat of Many Colors
Osborne Brothers: Fireball Mail
Porter Wagoner & Dolly Parton: Together Always

7:00: Rudy's
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Loretta Lynn: One's on the Way/Here I Am Again
George Morgan: Making Heartaches
Willis Brothers: Give Me 40 Acres
Stu Phillips: I Hear Your Name
Roy Acuff: Cabin in Gloryland

7:30: Standard Candy
Ernest Tubb (host): Driftwood on the River
Tex Ritter: Coming After Jenny
Wilburn Brothers: Arkansas
Dottie West: Here Comes My Baby
Wayne Hammond: To Get to You
Crook Brothers: Cotton-Eyed Joe
Tex Ritter: Fall Away

8:00: Martha White
Lester Flatt (host) w/Bill Monroe: Rollin' In My Sweet Baby's Arms
Tom T Hall: More About John Henry
Hank Locklin: Send Me the Pillow You Dream On
David Houston: Jambalaya
Roland White & Marty Stuart: Ashes of Love
Tom T Hall: The Year that Clayton Delaney Died
Hank Locklin: Country Hall of Fame
David Houston & Barbara Mandrell: The Perfect Match

8:30: Stephens
Hank Snow (host): I'm Moving On
Marion Worth: I Fall to Piecres
Charlie Walker: Pick Me Up on Your Way Down
Barbara Mandrell: Treat Him Right
The 4 Guys: Turn Your Radio On
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Bill Cheatham
Hank Snow: There's a Fool Such as I

2nd show
9:30: Kellogg's
Porter Wagoner (host): What Ain't To Be Just Might Happen
Willis Brothers: I Still Do
Dolly Parton: Coat of Many Colors
Jim Ed Brown: Morning
Porter Wagoner & Dolly Parton: Burning the Midnight Oil/The Right Combination/Together Always
Justin Tubb: Lonesome 7-7203
Del Wood: Gloryland March

10:00: Fender
Bill Anderson (host): Don't She Look Good When She Smiles
Jan Howard: New York City Song
Charlie Louvin & Diane McCall: Baby, What's Wrong with Us
Osborne Brothers: You Win Again/Today I Started Loving You Again

10:15: Union 76
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Bill Monroe & Lester Flatt: Will You Be Loving Another Man
Loretta Lynn: Coal Miner's Daughter
Ernie Ashworth: Mind Your Own Business
Freddie Hart: Easy Loving

10:30: Trailblazer
Lester Flatt (host): Backing to Birmingham
Dottie West: Here Comes My Baby
Willis Brothers: Arkansas
George Morgan: Making Heartaches

10:45: Beech-Nut
Ernest Tubb (host): Say Something Nice to Sara
Wayne Hammond: Red, Red Wine
Crook Brothers: Black Mountain Rag
Ernest Tubb: Waltz Across Texas

11:00: Coca-Cola
Hank Snow (host): I've Been Everywhere
Tom T Hall: Me & Jesus
Barbara Mandrell: Tonight My Baby's Coming Home
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Katy Hill
Stu Phillips: I Hear Your Name
Sam McGee: Under the Double Eagle
Hank Snow: I Don't Hurt Anymore

11:30: Elm Hill
Tex Ritter (host): High Noon
Marion Worth: Go On Home
The 4 Guys: Sweet Yesterday
Tex Ritter: Coming After Jenny

There you have it for this week. I hope everyone enjoys the Opry.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Ryman Hospitality Plans $12 Million Renovation of the Grand Ole Opry House

It was announced this morning that Ryman Hospitality is embarking on a $12 million expansion of the Grand Ole Opry House to add parking, larger retail space and an enhanced area for backstage tours.

The investment continues the trend of Ryman Hospitality banking on Nashville's country music-fueled tourism industry. In the last three-plus years, the company as spent $14 million to expand and renovate the Ryman Auditorium, $8.6 million to renovate the Wildhorse Saloon and $20 million to overhaul the building that will be home to the Blake Shelton entertainment complex Ole Red. That's in addition to a $90 million water park under construction that the company hopes will attract more leisure tourists. And Ryman Hospitality isn't finished investing in live music in Nashville, CEO Colin Reed said.

The next big move by the company in the live music space could come in downtown, where Ryman owns a historic building on Second Avenue next door to the Wildhorse Saloon. "What we believe is going to happen here is we're going to continue to see a sure of people wanting to come to this town" Reed said.

The company has recent experience with a similar project. The Ryman Auditorium added retail space, a cafe and area for a virtual tour. Reed said that project is already paying dividends and gave Ryman Hospitality confidence in the Opry House renovation. The renovation is aimed at improving fan experience before fans take their seats inside the performance hall, which is not part of the renovation.

The Opry House reached 650.000 in attendance in 2016, up 150,000 in 2012. Tours attendance has risen by 100,000 over the same time frame. The building is bulking up its retail space to accommodate the steady flow of fans. And, Ryman Hospitality wants to improve the parking situation so the company plans to add 1.300 parking spaces on a paved lot replacing unused land. Fans will have a clear path to the Opry House. "So now people won't have to hunt around for parking," Reed said. The parking and retail space should be done by October 2018, to coincide with the opening of the SoundWaves water park and entertainment area housed inside the hotel. The details for a VIP lounge for backstage tours are still being finalized. The renovation will relocate the box office and make way for Ryman-owned food trucks, one of which is modeled after an artist tour bus.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Tuesday Night Opry 10/17 & Opry Country Classics 10/19

The big news regarding the Tuesday Night Opry this week will be the formal induction of Chris Young as the newest member of the Grand Ole Opry.

Chris Young was born in Murfreesboro, Tennessee on June 12, 1985. His grandfather, Richard Yates, was a performer on the Louisiana Hayride. Showing interest in music at an early age, Chris attended Oakland High School, singing in the high school choir and performing in local clubs. In 2006, Chris was the house singer for Cowboys Dance Club. That same year, he auditioned for "Nashville Star" in Houston, Texas and was the winner. His prize included a contract with RCA Records in Nashville and later that year, he released his debut single, "Drinkin' Me Lonely" which reached No. 42 on the Billboard Country Charts. His second single, "You're Gonna Love Me," reached No. 48.

It was not until May 2008 that his third single, "Voices" was released. It became his first Top 40 entry on the charts, reaching No. 37. Additional singles followed and in 2010 he was nominated for the Academy of Country Music's Top New Solo Vocalist. He was also nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Male Country Vocal Performance for "Gettin' You Home," which had been released in October 2009. That song, along with a re-release of "Voices"went to No. 1 on the charts. The hits have continued since.

Chris is also known for his charity work, supporting Little Kids Rock by donating various items to the organization for auction, raising money to put instruments in the hands of children. He has been a major supporter for Stars for Strips and St. Jude Children's Hospital. In August of this year, he created a fundraising site for Houston to help with the massive flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey.

Joining Chris for his formal Opry induction on the 1st show will be Grand Ole Opry member Brad Paisley.

1st show
7:00: Del McCoury Band; Dustin Lynch; Henry Cho; Tracy Lawrence
8:00: Cassadee Pope; Brad Paisley; Chris Young

2nd show
9:30: Del McCoury Band; Dustin Lynch; Henry Cho
10:30: Cassadee Pope; Tracy Lawrence; Chris Young

Opry Country Classics on Thursday night will feature the Oak Ridge Boys as the Spotlight Artists, but also appearing will be Leroy Van Dyke, who will be appearing to mark the 55th anniversary as to when he became a member of the Grand Ole Opry, with the exact date being October 19, 1962.

Leroy Van Dyke, now 88 years old, was born in Mora, Missouri and graduated from the University of Missouri majoring in agricultural journalism. He hit country music stardom in 1956 with his song "The Auctioneer," which sold over 2.5 million records. The song, co-written with Buddy Black, was the story about the life of his cousin, National Auctioneers Association Hall of Famer Ray Sims.

In his 50 years-plus career, Leroy had recorded more than 500 songs, dozens of them making the charts. His recording of "Walk On By," released in 1961 was named by Billboard magazine in 1994 as the biggest country single of all time, based on sales, plays and weeks in the charts. It stayed at No. 1 on the country charts for 19 weeks, and in all, charted for 42 weeks, also reaching No. 5 on the pop charts. Still active and touring, Leroy also is the voice of Subway in their current advertising campaign.

While Leroy will be appearing upon the occasion of his 55th anniversary of his joining the cast of the Grand Ole Opry, Leroy is no longer an Opry member, having been dismissed from the Opry by Ott Devine in 1966 for failing to make the number of required Opry appearances. Even after his Opry membership ended, Leroy would still make a number of guest appearances, one of which I saw a few years ago, and Leroy looked and sounded as good as ever.

Here is the line-up for Opry Country Classics:

Host: Bill Cody
Spotlight Artist: Oak Ridge Boys
Also Appearing: Linda Davis; Gatlin Brothers; Mo Pitney; Mike Snider; Leroy Van Dyke

As mentioned, Leroy Van Dyke joined the Grand Ole Opry on October 20, 1962. Here is the running order of the Opry from that night:

7:30: Pet Milk
Faron Young (host): Comback
Billy Grammer: He Ain't My Buddy No More
Justin Tubb: (?)
Del Wood: Are You From Dixie
Faron Young: Hello Walls
Darrell McCall: If You've Got the Money
Billy Grammer: Beautiful Isle of Somewhere
Justin Tubb: (?)
Faron Young: (?)

8:00: Martha White
Flatt & Scruggs (host): All the Good Times Are Passed & Gone
Hank Locklin: (?)
Cowboy Copas: Alabam
June Carter: Comedy
Flatt & Scruggs: Ballad of Jed Clampett
Carter Family: (?)
Crook Brothers: Lafayette
Hank Locklin: (?)
Flatt & Scruggs: Shucking the Corn

8:30: Bass Compact Homes
Hawkshaw Hawkins (host): Silver Threads & Golden Needles
Wilburn Brothers: Oh, Monah
Don Gibson: (?)
Archie Campbell: Comedy
Bobby Helms: (?)
Jean Shepard: I Used to Love You
Wilburn Brothers: The Sound of Your Footsteps
Don Gibson: (?)
Hawkshaw Hawkins: Darkness on the Face of the Earth

9:00: Jefferson Island Salt
Jim Reeves (host): (?)
Leroy Van Dyke: Auctioneer
Glaser Brothers: I'm Losing Again
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Katy Hill
Jim Reeves: (?)
Texas Ruby: (?)
Leroy Van Dyke: I Sat Back & Let it Happen
Blue Boys: (?)
Jim Reeves: (?)

9:30: Stephens
George Morgan (host): (?)
Roy Drusky: When You Turn Out Your Light
Merle Kilgore: Wolverton Mountain
Cousin Jody: Comedy
George Morgan: (?)
Mac Wiseman: (?)
Roy Drusky: Anymore
Don Slayman: Sally Goodin
George Morgan: (?)

10:00: Gates Rubber
Faron Young (host): Congratulations
Cowboy Copas: Bury Me Face Down
Justin Tubb: (?)
Faron Young: Down By the River

10:15: Corn Products
Flatt & Scruggs: Coal Loading Johnny
Billy Grammer: He Ain't My Buddy No More
Carter Family: (?)
Flatt & Scruggs: Go Home
Earl Scruggs: Flint Hill Special

10:30: Harvey's
Wilburn Brothers (host): (?)
Don Gibson: (?)
Del Wood: 12th Street Rag
Wilburn Brothers: (?)

10:45: De Con
Hank Locklin (host): (?)
Archie Campbell: The Fool's Side of Town
Crook Brothers: Mississippi Sawyer
Hank Locklin: (?)

11:00: Coca-Cola
Jim Reeves (host): (?)
Glaser Brothers: Let Me Down Easy
Hawkshaw Hawkins: Big Old Heartache
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Fire on the Mountain
Jim Reeves: (?)
Jean Shepard: Two Shadows; Two Voices; Two Faces
Leroy Van Dyke: (?)
Sam & Kirk McGee: Waiting for a Letter
Blue Boys: (?)
Jim Reeves: (?)

11:30: SSS Tonic
George Morgan (host): (?)
Curly Fox: (?)
Roy Drusky: I Forgot More Then You'll Ever Know
Cousin Jody: Comedy
George Morgan: (?)
Texas Ruby: (?)
Merle Kilgore: Forty-Two in Chicago
Curly Fox: (?)
George Morgan: (?)

There you have it for the mid-week shows. Congratulations again to Chris Young, the newest member of the Grand Ole Opry.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Grand Ole Opry 10/13 & 10/14

The Grand Ole Opry has posted the line-ups for the shows this weekend, the Friday Night Opry and Saturday's Grand Ole Opry. With the Opry currently running their fall schedule, there are two shows on Saturday night. Both nights feature full and solid Opry line-ups.

Grand Ole Opry members appearing on all three shows this weekend include John Conlee, Mike Snider and Riders In The Sky. On Friday night, they will be joined by Lorrie Morgan, Jeannie Seely and Bill Anderson, while on Saturday night Ricky Skaggs, Connie Smith, Bobby Osborne and The Whites will appear.

As to guest artists this weekend, Friday will feature Mark Chesnutt and Lonestar, both of whom had very solid careers in country music. Also appearing will be Shelly Fairchild, Eric Paslay, The Grascals and very frequent Opry guest, Mark Wills. Saturday night's list has Jackie Lee, Elizabeth Cook, Drew Baldridge, Charles Esten and Emily Ann Roberts scheduled.

Friday October 13
7:00: John Conlee (host); Shelly Fairchild; Mike Snider
7:30: Lorrie Morgan (host); Jeannie Seely; Lonestar
8:15: Bill Anderson (host); The Grascals; Mark Wills
8:45: Riders In The Sky (host); Eric Paslay; Mark Chesnutt

Saturday October 14
1st show
7:00: John Conlee (host); Jackie Lee; Mike Snider
7:30: Connie Smith (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Elizabeth Cook
8:00: Riders In The Sky (host); The Whites; Drew Baldridge; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Ricky Skaggs (host); Emily Ann Roberts; Charles Esten

2nd show
9:30: John Conlee (host); Jackie Lee; Mike Snider
10:00: Connie Smith (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Elizabeth Cook
10:30: Riders In The Sky (host); The Whites; Drew Baldridge; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Ricky Skaggs (host); Emily Ann Roberts; Charles Esten

Emily Ann Roberts is the newbie this week on the Grand Ole Opry. Emily was a contestant on season nine of The Voice, and was a member of Blake Shelton's team. Since 2015, Emily has recorded and charted songs on the country and Christian music charts,, with her highest charting single being "Burning House" which went to #4 on the country charts. 

And now, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from 10 years ago, the weekend of October 12 & 13, 2007:

Friday October 12
8:00: George Hamilton IV (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Julie Roberts
8:30: Jean Shepard (host); Sarah Johns; Lee Brice
9:00: Bill Anderson (host); Jamey Johnson; Restless Heart
9:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); Jypsi; Mark Wills

Saturday October 13
1st show
6:30: Mike Snider (host); Jean Shepard; Mark Wills
7:00: Darryl Worley; Steve Holy; Andy Griggs; Patty Loveless
8:00: George Hamilton IV (host); Jan Howard; Rebecca Lynn Howard; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Bill Anderson (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Restless Heart

2nd show
9:30: Mike Snider (host); Rebecca Lynn Howard; Steve Holy
10:00: Jean Shepard (host); Mark Wills; Darryl; Worley
10:30: George Hamilton IV (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Bill Anderson (host); Restless Heart; Patty Loveless

And now from 25 years ago, the weekend of October 16 & 17, 1992. This was also the Grand Ole Opry's 67th birthday celebration and the final Saturday night that Roy Acuff appeared on the Opry.

Friday October 16
1st show
6:30: Bill Anderson (host); The 4 Guys; Jim Ed Brown; Jan Howard; Ray Pillow
7:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jean Shepard; Osborne Brothers; John Conlee; The Whites
7:30: Roy Acuff (host); Connie Smith; Wilma Lee Cooper; Grandpa Jones
8:00: Bill Monroe (host); Del Reeves; Jack Greene; Lynn Morris
8:30: Hank Snow (host); Jeannie Seely; Bill Carlisle; Jeanne Pruett

2nd show
9:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Skeeter Davis; Stonewall Jackson; Jeanne Pruett; John Conlee
10:00: Roy Acuff (host); Bill Anderson; Grandpa Jones; Charlie Walker
10:30: Bill Monroe (host); The 4 Guys; Jean Shepard; Osborne Brothers; Hank Locklin
11:00: Hank Snow (host); Connie Smith; Del Reeves; Jeannie Seely
11:30: Jack Greene (host); Lynn Morris; Jim Ed Brown; Johnny Russell

Saturday October 17
1st show
6:30: Bill Monroe (host); Jim Ed Brown
6:45: Grandpa Jones (host); Skeeter Davis; Roy Drusky
7:00: George Hamilton IV (host); Jeanne Pruett; Mike Snider; Hank Locklin; Jean Shepard
7:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Shelly West; John Conlee
8:00: Roy Acuff (host); Connie Smith; Bill Anderson; Opry Square Dance Band; The Melvin Sloan Dancers
8:30: Hank Snow (host); The 4 Guys; Jan Howard; Bill Carlisle; The Whites

2nd show
9:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Wilma Lee Cooper; Stonewall Jackson; Jeannie Seely; Mike Snider
10:00: Bill Monroe (host); Roy Drusky
10:15: Roy Acuff (host); Hank Locklin
10:30: Grandpa Jones (host); Jean Shepard; Charlie Walker
10:45: George Hamilton IV (host); Shelly West; Opry Square Dance Band; The Melvin Sloan Dancers
11:00: Hank Snow (host); The 4 Guys; Connie Smith; John Conlee
11:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); Jan Howard; Bill Carlisle; The Whites; Johnny Russell

October is the month that the Grand Ole Opry celebrates its anniversary and birthday. And it was 33 years ago, Saturday October 13, 1984 that the Opry celebrated #59. Here is the running order from the two shows that night:

1st show
6:30: Bonanza
Jim Ed Brown (host): Pop A Top
Connie Smith: Hangin' Around
Jim Ed Brown: Morning

6:45: Rudy's
Ray Pillow (host): Too Many Memories
Jeannie Seely: I Wish I Had One Bad Memory of You
Ray Pillow: Please Don't Leave Me Anymore

7:00: Shoney's
Porter Wagoner (host): Tennessee Saturday Night
Bill Grammer: Aunt Dinah's Quilting Party
Skeeter Davis: The End of the World
Del Wood: Keep on the Firing Line
Jim & Jesse: Mansion on the Hill
Porter Wagoner: Everything I've Always Wanted/Your Old Love Letters
The Right Combination: Turn Me Loose

7:30: Standard Candy
Bill Anderson (host): Son of the South
Justin Tubb: Waltz Across Texas
Lorrie Morgan: A Little Good News
Vic Willis Trio: Colorado
Crook Brothers/ The Melvin Sloan Dancers: Sally Goodin
Bill Anderson: Golden Guitar

8:00: Martha White
Grandpa Jones (host): Apple Jack
Riders In The Sky: I Still Do
Roy Drusky: What About You
Jeanne Pruett: Satin Sheets
Stu Phillips: Great El Tigrae
Grandpa Jones: Tritzem Yodel

8:30: Music Valley Drive
Hank Snow (host): I'm Moving On
Teddy Wilburn: I Can't Help It
Del & Carrie Reeves: We've Got Some Feeling to Do
The 4 Guys: How Married Are You Mary Ann
Bill Carlisle: Same Ol' Tale that the Crow Told Me
Hank Snow: Born For You

2nd show
9:30: Dollar General
Bill Anderson (host): Country D.J.
The 4 Guys: Ruby Red
Skeeter Davis: Turning Away
Billy Grammer: Sitting on Top of the World
Jeannie Seely: Yours
Bill Anderson: Still

10:00: Little Debbie
Porter Wagoner (host): Mule Skinner Blues
Del Wood: Down Yonder
Porter Wagoner & Grand Opry Opry Cast: Happy Birthday Grand Ole Opry
Porter Wagoner: Tennessee Saturday Night

10:15: Sunbeam
Grandpa Jones (host): Little Pink
Jim & Jesse: Paradise
Grandpa Jones: Are There Tears Behind Your Smile

10:30: Martha White
Jim Ed Brown (host): Fools
Jan Howard: As Long As I'm Rocking With You
Jim Ed Brown: The 3 Bells

10:45: Beech-Nut
Roy Drusky (host): Tennessee Border
Justin Tubb: What's Wrong with the Way That We're Doing it Now
Crook Brothers/ The Melvin Sloan Dancers: Lafayette
Roy Drusky: Cryin' Time

11:00: Coca-Cola
Hank Snow (host): Paper Roses
Vic Willis Trio: Faded Love
Connie Smith: I'm Only In It for the Love
Riders In The Sky: Back on Those Texas Plains
Stu Phillips: Mountain Music
Hank Snow: Nevertheless

11:30: Quincy's
Del Reeves (host): Lay A Little Lovin' On Me
Jeanne Pruett: Back to Back/Temporarily Yours
Teddy Wilburn: Making Plans
Bill Carlisle: Elvira
Del Reeves: Good Hearted Woman/I'm Walkin'/ Blueberry Hill/You Win Again/Whole Lotta Shakin' Going On

You will notice that Roy Acuff was not on the schedule for that night. On July 1st of that year, Roy did not feel well and drove himself to his doctor. His doctor checked him out and diagnosed angina and admitted him to Edgefield Hospital. On July 8, after further tests revealed some heart damage, he was sent home with orders to stay quiet for several weeks. However on July 17, Roy woke up with severe chest pains, and while not technically a heart attack, was told it was angina caused by a weak heart. He was sent home on July 28, again with orders to keep quiet. While he wasn't allowed to perform, he did go to the Opry House to visit friends backstage. Among those who came to Nashville to visit Roy was President Ronald Reagan, who came to see Roy the weekend of September 13. The President came to Roy's house, next to the Grand Ole Opry House, and visited for a few minutes. Then they got into the President's limousine and drove from Roy's garage into the Grand Ole Opry House. They spent a few minutes in Roy's dressing room then they were introduced on stage. Both the President and Roy said a few words and then cut some birthday cake in honor of Roy's birthday, which was a few days later.

While not performing on the Opry the birthday weekend, Roy did come out on stage with the birthday cake. It was not until December 7 and 8 that Roy returned on stage to sing.

Another birthday weekend took place on October 14, 1989. Not only was it the Opry's 64th birthday celebration, but it was also the night that Holly Dunn became a member of the Grand Ole Opry.

Holly Suzette Dunn was born in San Antonio, Texas on August 22, 1957. Not only was she a fine singer, but she was also known for her songwriting skills. While attending high school, Holly performed in a band called the Freedom Folk Singers. She attended Abilene Christian University and performed in a school sponsored group The Hilltoppers. She also began writing songs with her brother Chris Waters. After graduation from college, she moved to Nashville and worked as a demo singer, the signing with CBS Records as a songwriter. She later moved to MTM Records and in 1985 signed a recording contract. She recorded for MTM from 1988 to 1993, and then later with Warner Bros. Records and River North Records. She released 10 albums and had 19 singles on the Billboard charts. Two of her singles, "Are You Ever Gonna Love Me" and "You Really Had Me Going" reached No. 1 on the charts. Surprisingly, her breakthrough record, and the song most associated with Holly, "Daddy's Hands," only reached No. 7 when released in 1986.

Holly continued to record, with her final country album being released in 1997. Later in the 1990s, she joined country music radio station WWWW in Detroit, Michigan as the morning show co-host. Later, when she returned to Nashville in 1999, she co-hosted "Opry Backstage" on The Nashville Network until 2002. In 2003, Holly announced her retirement from her musical career and released one last final album, "Full Circle" which was her only gospel album. She moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico to pursue a full-time career as an artist. Sadly, several years after Holly moved to New Mexico, the Grand Ole Opry fired Holly, dropping her as an Opry member. While I am sure there were reasons behind the move, it was an injustice, considering that the Opry has allowed numerous other retired members to keep their Opry membership. Holly passed away from ovarian cancer on November 14, 2016.

Here is the running order from Saturday October 14, 1989, the night Holly Dunn became a member of the Grand Ole Opry, and the Opry's 64th birthday celebration

1st show
6:30: Mrs. Grissoms
Jimmy Dickens (host): May the Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose
Skeeter Davis: The End of the World
Jimmy Dickens: When You House is Not A Home

6:45: Rudy's
Stonewall Jackson (host): Me & You & A Dog Named Boo
Jeanne Pruett: Satin Sheets
Stonewall Jackson: Don't Be Angry

7:00: Shoney's
Bill Monroe (host): Gonna Have A Feast Here Tonight
Charlie Louvin: The Precious Jewel
Jan Howard: The One You Slip Around With
Charlie Walker: Pick Me Up On Your Way Down
Jean Shepard: I'm Just an Old Bridge That Keeps Burning
Bill Monroe: On the Old Kentucky Shore
Blake Williams: Bluegrass Breakdown

7:30: Standard Candy
Jack Greene (host): Statue of a Fool
The Whites: Pins & Needles/He Hasn't Lost His Touch
Holly Dunn: Daddy's Hands/There Goes My Heart Again
Grand Ole Opry Cast (w/Minnie Pearl): Happy Birthday Grand Ole Opry
Jack Greene/Holly Dunn & Opry Cast: Satisfied/I Saw the Light

8:00: Martha White
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Connie Smith: The Key's in the Mailbox
Minnie Pearl: Comedy
Pee Wee King: The Tennessee Waltz
Porter Wagoner: Ol' Slewfoot
Opry Square Dance Band/The Stoney Mountain Cloggers: Arkansas Traveler
Roy Acuff: I Saw the Light

8:30: Music Valley Drive
Hank Snow (host): The Call of the Wild
Grandpa Jones: Old Blue
Roy Drusky: More & More
Hank Locklin: Send Me the Pillow You Dream On
Jeannie Seely: Don't Touch Me
Hank Snow: These Hands

2nd show
9:30: Dollar General
Porter Wagoner (host): Country Music Has Gone to Town
Ray Pillow: Til the Best Comes Along
Charlie Louvin: The Precious Jewel
Jean Shepard: I'll Sail My Ship Alone
The Whites: Alabama Jubilee
Porter Wagoner: Green, Green Grass of Home/I Thought I Heard You Calling My Name

10:00: Little Debbie
Jimmy Dickens (host): Me & My Big Loud Mouth
Holly Dunn: There Goes My Heart Again
Jimmy Dickens: Shopping for Dressess

10:15: Sunbeam
Roy Acuff (host): Meeting in the Air
Bill Carlisle: Knothole
Roy Acuff & Grand Ole Opry Cast: Happy Birthday Grand Ole Opry

10:30: Pet Milk
Bill Monroe (host): Stay Away From Me; You're Causing Me Trouble
Skeeter Davis: My Last Date with You/Silver Threads & Golden Needles/ The End of the World
Bill Monroe: Down this Long, Lonesome Highway

10:45: B.C. Powder
Grandpa Jones (host): Darby's Ram
Charlie Walker: Does Ft. Worth Ever Cross Your Mind
Opry Square Dance Band/The Stoney Mountain Cloggers: Sugar in the Goard
Grandpa Jones: Gone Home

11:00: Coca-Cola
Hank Snow (host): That Heart Belongs to Me
Jan Howard: Rock Me Back to Little Rock/Evil on Your Mind
Pee Wee King: Slow Poke
Justin Tubb: Walking; Talking; Cryin'; Barely Beating Broken Heart
Hank Snow: I Almost Lost My Mind

11:30: Creamette
Jack Greene (host): Walkin' on New Grass
Roy Drusky: Take Good Care of Her
Hank Locklin: Please Help Me I'm Falling
Connie Smith: You've Got Me Right Where You Want Me/Sing, Sing, Sing
Jack Greene: Don't You Ever Get Tired of Hurting Me

There you have it for this week. I would be remiss is I did not mention that the host of this week's Ernest Tubb Midnight Jamboree will be Doug Stone. Should be a great show. And don't forget that the Tuesday Night Opry on October 17 will feature the formal induction of Chris Young as a member of the Grand Ole Opry cast.

Enjoy the Opry this weekend!!!

Monday, October 9, 2017

Tuesday Night Opry 10/10 & Opry Country Classics 10/12

Before getting into the mid-week Opry shows, just a few general observations from the weekend, starting with the Wednesday Night Opry with Eric Church.

Eric was pretty emotional, as I am sure it came out over the radio. During the entire time he was on stage, the audience was standing. Except for a few knuckleheads yelling out song titles, the crowd was very respective and quite during Eric's comments. He stuck to emotional ballads, each of which had a meaning. It was something to witness. The show started that night with Bill Cody making a brief statement, then Jeannie Seely and the Opry Singers opening with "Amazing Grace" followed by a short version of "Will The Circle Be Unbroken." After that, the show picked up until Eric's segment. Each of the performers, which included Restless Heart, Charles Esten, Clare Bowen, Trace Adkins, Scotty McCreery and Ashley McBryde, were very good. I was particularly impressed with Ashley. She has a definite future in the business. As would be expected, the show was sold out.

After being on, then off the schedule, Larry Gatlin was the host for the Opry Country Classics on Thursday night. I would estimate the Ryman about 2/3 full and the line-up was very solid. The Whites opened, followed by Maggie Rose, Rhonda Vincent, Sylvia and finishing with Janie Fricke, in addition to Larry, Steve and Rudy. Again, a fine show with a lot of fine performances. Rhonda did "Satin Sheets" and "One A Day." while Sylvia and Janie stuck to their hits. Very nice show.

The weekend shows featured the Opry Birthday celebration. From what I could tell, both Friday shows, and the early Saturday show were sold-out, with the late Saturday show just a few hundred shy of being sold out. Friday was a very good night with everyone doing a great job. For those who listened, Vince Gill mentioned that he had an ear infection that was bothering him, and in looking at him you could tell he was a little bit off. But his singing was great, as usual. I think most have noted that Friday had a better line-up, and I will tell you that Pam Tillis, Diamond Rio, Ricky Skaggs and the Oak Ridge Boys all mentioned that they were leaving for performances on the road Saturday night. Speaking of Saturday, the line-up was a little soft and short on Opry members. Vince carried the last segment on both shows alone and handled the cake duties. I know many want to blame the Opry's management for the line-up during the birthday weekend, but it is tough when so many artists are out on the road to get them back in Nashville. I know of Opry veterans, Bill Anderson, Jeannie Seely, John Conlee, Marty Stuart, Riders In The Sky and Bobby Osborne were all booked out. And of course, Jesse McReynolds continues his recovery. Overall a great weekend and I will continue to fill in the details. Also, if you want to see all the pictures, please feel free to check my Facebook page.

A final weekend comment about Tracy Lawrence. He did a fine job on each show and at the birthday concert on Saturday afternoon. (I will mention that the crowd for the afternoon concert was as small as I have ever seen at one of those). Some mentioned that they thought Tracy would get an Opry invite this weekend, but obviously with Chris Young waiting in the wings for his induction next week, that was not going to happen. I still believe that Tracy will make a fine Opry member some day. We will see. Either that, or he will join the list that includes Mark Wills, Rhonda Vincent, Exile, Restless Heart, and others, which are those who would make great Opry members but are contented to be invited on as guests.

Now for the Tuesday Night Opry. Two shows with Opry member Keith Urban leading the way, with a guest appearance by Brooks & Dunn. Chris Janson is also set to appear, along with Dailey & Vincent, Bill Anderson and John Conlee.

Tuesday October 10
1st show
7:00: John Conlee; Maddie & Tae; Collin Raye
7:30: Bill Anderson; Dailey & Vincent; Jason Crabb
8:00: Chris Janson; Brooks & Dunn; Keith Urban

2nd show
9:30: John Conlee; Brooks & Dunn; Maddie & Tae
10:00: Collin Raye; Bill Anderson; Jason Crabb
10:30: Dailey & Vincent; Chris Janson; Keith Urban

As for Opry Country Classics on Thursday night:

Host: Bill Cody
Spotlight Artist: Ricky Skaggs
Also Appearing: Charlie McCoy; Chuck Mead; William Michael Morgan; Jo Smith


Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Grand Ole Opry 10/6 & 10/7--92nd Birthday Bash

Happy Birthday Grand Ole Opry!!!!

While the actual date is November 25, the Grand Ole Opry has traditionally held its annual birthday weekend during the month of October. Originally tied in to the Country Music Disc Jockey Convention, the birthday weekend is now a stand-alone event as the radio DJs (or what is left of them), generally get together in February.

As I am preparing to leave for Nashville in the morning, the Opry has not posted the line-ups as of yet for the shows this weekend. With it being the birthday weekend, there will be 2 shows each on Friday and Saturday night.

Those listed as "scheduled to appear" on Friday night include Grand Ole Opry members Vince Gill, Oak Ridge Boys, Diamond Rio, Pam Tillis, Ricky Skaggs, Connie Smith, The Whites and Mike Snider. Also joining that group will be guest artists Tracy Lawrence and Hunter Hays.

Vince Gill, Connie Smith, The Whites and Mike Snider are scheduled to return Saturday night, joined again by Tracy Lawrence, along with Steven Curtis Chapman and Jerrod Niemann. More to come.

The Ernest Tubb Midnight Jamboree is to be hosted by Tim Atwood, former member of the Opry Staff Band, who has been working with Jeannie Seely, and has recorded a new CD.

In addition to the Opry shows, Tracy Lawrence will be doing the Saturday afternoon birthday concert and there will be fun, games and music all day at the Opry Plaza.

As I mentioned before, I will be there beginning Wednesday and right through the weekend. If anyone sees me, or recognizes me from my picture, please feel free to come down and say hi. I will be in the front of the auditorium each night and would love to put faces with names. It is always a chance to meet new friends and see a few old ones.

And now, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from 10 years ago, the weekend of October 5 & 6, 2007:

Friday October 5
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Bobby Bare; Tanya Tucker
8:30: George Hamilton IV (host); The Whites; Chuck Wicks
9:00: Jim Ed Brown (host); w/Helen Cornelius; Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Blaine Larsen
9:30: Jimmy C Newman (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Carolina Rain

Saturday October 6
1st show
6:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jimmy C Newman; Connie Smith
7:00: Jack Ingram; Chuck Wicks; Mountain Heart; Whiskey Falls; Lee Greenwood
8:00: The Whites (host); Stu Phillips; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); w/Helen Cornelius; George Hamilton IV; Cherryholmes

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Connie Smith; Chuck Wicks
10:00: The Whites (host); Whiskey Falls; Mountain Heart
10:30: George Hamilton IV (host); Jack Ingram; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Jim Ed Brown (host); w/Helen Cornelius; Cherryholmes; Lee Greenwood

While the previous Saturday night was Porter Wagoner's final night on Saturday's Grand Ole Opry, the Friday Night Opry of this weekend was Porter's final Friday Night Opry. On the original schedule, he was listed for Saturday night, but The Whites were moved into his spot on both shows. As mentioned last week, Porter made one final appearance on Tuesday October 9.

Now from 25 years ago, here is the Grand Ole Opry line-up from October 9 & 10, 1992:

Friday October 9
1st show
6:30: Bill Anderson (host); Jim Ed Brown; Wilma Lee Cooper; The Whites; Jimmy C Newman
7:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jimmy Dickens; Jan Howard; Osborne Brothers; Jeanne Pruett
7:30: Roy Acuff (host); The 4 Guys; Jean Shepard; Charlie Walker
8:00: Bill Monroe (host); Mel McDaniel; Del Reeves
8:30: Hank Snow (host); Jack Greene; Skeeter Davis; Jim & Jesse

2nd show
9:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Mel McDaniel; Mike Snider; Jeannie Seely; George Hamilton IV
10:00: Roy Acuff (host); Stonewall Jackson; The Whites; Jimmy Dickens; Ray Pillow
10:30: Bill Anderson (host); The 4 Guys; Bill Carlisle; Osborne Brothers; Jim Ed Brown
11:00: Hank Snow (host); Del Reeves; Jean Shepard; Jim & Jesse; Justin Tubb
11:30: Bill Monroe (host); Jack Greene; Skeeter Davis; Johnny Russell

(You will notice 21 Opry members on the 1st show and 24 on the 2nd with no guests)

Saturday October 10
1st show
6:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jim Ed Brown
6:45: Del Reeves (host); Riders In The Sky
7:00: Porter Wagoner (host); The 4 Guys; Jeannie Seely; Charlie Louvin; The Whites
7:30: Bill Monroe (host); George Hamilton IV; Skeeter Davis; Lionel Cartwright
8:00: Roy Acuff (host); Bill Anderson; Jean Shepard; Opry Square Dance Band; The Stoney Mountain Cloggers
8:30: Hank Snow (host); Mike Snider; Roy Drusky; Charlie Walker; Jan Howard

2nd show
9:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Jeanne Pruett; Ray Pillow; Wilma Lee Cooper; Lionel Cartwright
10:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Riders In The Sky
10:15: Roy Acuff (host); Stonewall Jackson
10:30: Bill Anderson (host); The 4 Guys
10:45: Bill Monroe (host); Bill Carlisle; Opry Square Dance Band; The Stoney Mountain Cloggers
11:00: Hank Snow (host); Jean Shepard; The Whites; Justin Tubb; Charlie Louvin
11:30: Charlie Walker (host); Jan Howard; Jim Ed Brown; Roy Drusky; Mike Snider

Finally, it was on Saturday October 6, 1990 that Garth Brooks became a member of the Grand Ole Opry.

The Grand Ole Opry stage has long been hallowed ground to the man who ha sold more albums than any other country act. Garth made his debut on June 24, 1989, and wept tears of joy on the occasion. He joined the show's cast a year later, and he has always called that night one of the proudest moments of his unparalleled career.

The youngest of six children, Garth grew up in Yukon, Oklahoma, an oil town near Oklahoma City. He first moved to Nashville in 1985, only to return home 23 hours later. After completing a degree in advertising at Oklahoma State University, he ventured back to Music City in 1987 and within six months signed a recording contract with Capital Records. Garth's first single, "Much Too Young (To Feel This Damn Old)." from his self-titled debut album, hit No. 8 on the charts. More big hits followed: "Not Counting You," "The Dance," and "If Tomorrow Never Comes." The only male artist to have four albums, "No Fences," "Ropin' the Wind," "The Hits." and "Double Live," each exceed sales of 10 million, Garth places second only to The Beatles as the best-selling act of all time, according to the Recording Industry Association of America.

Garth has received nearly every accolade the recording industry can bestow upon an artist, including two Grammys, 11 Country Music Association awards and 24 Billboard Music awards. He's also earned a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 1997, Garth's Central Park concert in New York drew the largest crowd the park had ever seen. The HBO special, "Garth Live from Central Park" was the year's most-watched cable television special.

Recently returning to touring after a lengthy absence from the road, Garth continues to draw record crowds where ever he performs. Garth is one of the newest members of the Country Music Hall of Fame and is married to fellow Opry member Trisha Yearwood.

Here is the running order from 27 years ago, Saturday October 6, 1990, the night Garth Brooks became an Opry member:

1st show
6:30: Bonanza
Bill Monroe (host): Monroe's Hornpipe
Jeanne Pruett: Temporarily Yours
Bill Monroe: I Am A Pilgrim

6:45: Rudy's
Grandpa Jones (host): Stop that Ticklin' Me
Charlie Louvin: If You Can Only Dream That Far
Jan Howard: Rollin' In My Sweet Baby's Arms
Grandpa Jones: Old Camp Meeting Time

7:00: Shoney's
Tom T Hall (host): Country Is
Skeeter Davis: The End of the World
Jack Greene: Statue of A Fool
Alan Jackson: Here In the Real World/Honky-Tonk Dream
Tom T Hall: Ravishing Ruby

7:30: Standard Candy
Johnny Russell (host): Got No Reason Now for Going Home
Stonewall Jackson: Don't Be Angry
Jeannie Seely: Don't Touch Me
Garth Brooks: Friends in Low Places/If Tomorrow Never Comes/The Dance

8:00: Martha White
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Jim & Jesse: The Rider in the Rain/The Border Ride
Jean Shepard: Someone's Gotta Cry/I'll Sail My Ship Alone
Charlie Walker: Pick Me Up On Your Way Down/San Antonio Rose
Opry Square Dance Band/The Melvin Sloan Dancers: Patti on the Turnpike

8:30: Pops Rite
Hank Snow (host): I Don't Hurt Anymore
Billy Walker: Tennessee Waltz
The Whites: Love is a Rose
Connie Smith: Did We Have to Come this Far to Say Goodbye
Roy Drusky: Too Old to Die Young
Hank Snow: It Kinda Reminds Me of Me

2nd show
9:30: Dollar General
Grandpa Jones (host): Apple Jack
Skeeter Davis: If I Don't Have You
Charlie Louvin: The Weapon of Prayer
Stonewall Jackson: Angry Words
Ray Pillow: One Memory to Another
Jan Howard: You Don't Know Me
Grandpa Jones: The Southbound Rolls Away

10:00: Little Debbie
Tom T Hall (host): The Year that Clayton Delaney Died
Alan Jackson: Wanted, One Good Hearted Woman/Home
Tom T Hall: I Love

10:15: Sunbeam
Roy Acuff (host): I Couldn't Believe It Was True
Bill Carlisle: Is Zat You Myrtle/Knothole

10:30: Pet Milk
Bill Monroe (host): I'm On My Way Back to the Old Home
Charlie Walker: A Way to Free Myself
Bill Monroe: I Have Found a Way

10:45: B.C. Powder
Jack Greene (host): This Old Boy's Tennessee Born Again
Roy Drusky: It's My Way of Loving You
Opry Square Dance Band/The Melvin Sloan Dancers: Ragtime Annie
Jack Greene: There Goes My Everything

11:00: Coca-Cola
Hank Snow (host): Frankie & Hohnny
The Whites: Swing Down Chariot
Jim & Jesse: You Are the One
Justin Tubb: Pull the Covers Over Me
Jean Shepard: Love's Gonna Live Here
Hank Snow: I'm Glad I Got to See You Once Again

11:30: Creamette
Bill Anderson (host): Southern Fried
Connie Smith: I Never Once Stopped Loving You
Garth Brooks: Friends in Low Places/The Dance
Johnny Russell: The Promise Land
Bill Anderson: Still

(One other note from that night: it was the Grand Ole Opry debut of Alan Jackson. Alan, of course, would eventually become an Opry member himself.

There you have it for this week. Once again, a very happy 92nd birthday to the Grand Ole Opry and hopefully it is a fun weekend in the Music City. For those listening, I hope each of you enjoys the Opry this weekend!!!

Monday, October 2, 2017

Grand Ole Opry Mid-Week Shows

I know that on days like this it is hard to think about positive thoughts. The entire country is heartbroken today, and will be for the coming days and weeks. So many innocent lives affected; people doing nothing more than enjoying an evening of music and fun. I am sure that there will be sadness at the Grand Ole Opry this week, and probably a number of mentions and remember-isms of the event Sunday night.

As to the Grand Ole Opry, there are three mid-week shows, as in addition to the Tuesday Night Opry and Opry Country Classics, there will also be a Wednesday night show this week:

Tuesday October 3
7:00: Connie Smith; Michael Ray
7:30: Brook Eden; Michael Martin Murphy
8:15: John Jorgenson; Herb Pedersen; Deborah Allen (J2B2)
8:45: Craig Morgan

Wednesday October 4
7:00: Jeannie Seely; Restless Heart
7:30: Charles Esten; Trace Adkins
8:15: Scotty McCreery; Ashley McBryde
8:45: Eric Church

Thursday October 5
Host: Bill Cody
Janie Fricke; The Gatlin Brothers; Maggie Rose; Sylvia; Rhonda Vincent; The Whites

With this coming weekend being the Grand Ole Opry's 92nd birthday bash, I will be in Nashville starting on Wednesday for all the activities over the weekend. That will include attending the Wednesday and Thursday night shows. It should be a great weekend as based on the advanced list of artists scheduled to appear, a pretty decent line-up for the weekend shows.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

October Opry Highlights

October has traditionally been one of the more active months in the history of the Grand Ole Opry. It is the month in which the Opry traditionally celebrates its anniversary with the Opry's birthday weekend, usually held the 1st weekend of the month. Lots of important and historical events have taken place during October involving the Opry or its members, and here are a few of them:

October 25, 1912: Sarah Ophelia Colley was born. Known to the world as Minnie Pearl, she first appeared on the Grand Ole Opry in November 1940 and was an Opry member for over 50 years. Comedy has become a lost art at the Opry, but during her time Minnie was one of the best. Minnie passed away in March 1996 from complications of an earlier stroke.

October 20, 1913: Louis Marshall Jones was born in Henderson County, Kentucky. Like Minnie Pearl, Louis was an Opry member for over 50 years, and was known for his humor along with his banjo playing. He was also nationally known for his work on Hee Haw. A member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, you might know him better by his stage name: Grandpa Jones.

October 5, 1925: WSM radio went on the air. Edwin Craig was given the honor of starting off that first broadcast, and he did it with a few simple words: "This is WSM. We Shield Millions. The National Life and Accident Company." National Life President C.A Craig dedicated the station to public service. Among the guests that night was George D. Hay, who would later be hired as the program director at WSM, after which he started the WSM Barn Dance.

October 27, 1934: The Grand Ole Opry moved from Studio C at the National Life Building, home of WSM, to the Hillsboro Theater. The move was made because of the large number of people who were coming down to the National Life building to watch the show. The Hillsboro Theater was an upgrade for the Opry, as it sat 2,400 and also had dressing rooms for the performers. Because the Opry was now being performed before a live audience, the artists were told to dress for their performances, meaning rural clothes that would reflect the proper image for a country show. That night also was the beginning of Vito Pellettiere as the Opry's stage manager. Vito would hold that position until 1977 and he was responsible for bringing order and organization to the show, including breaking the show into segments with sponsors, and establishing a schedule, with specific times for each act to appear.

October 9, 1937: Roy Acuff made his debut on the Grand Ole Opry. He was invited to appear on the program in what was basically an audition. While his initial performance was nothing to write home about, he was invited back and would join the Opry cast the following year.

October 14, 1939: The NBC Radio Network began to carry a half hour segment of the Opry, sponsored by the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company to promote its Prince Albert brand. Roy Acuff was the host, with David Stone as the announcer. On that first night, Roy and his group were introduced and played the theme song, "Have A Big Time Tonight." Along with George D. Hay, that first show included Uncle Dave Macon, George Wilkerson and his Fruit Jar Drinkers, DeFord Bailey, Brother Oswald, and the rest of Roy's group. Over time, the Prince Albert segment would become the Opry's most famous segment. Beginning initially on 26 network stations, primarily in the south, the segment would soon expand nationwide across the entire NBC Radio Network.

October 28, 1939: Bill Monroe became a member of the Grand Ole Opry, performing "Muleskinner Blues." Opry founder George D. Hay was so impressed with Bill and his new bluegrass sound that he told Bill that if he ever wanted to leave the Opry, he would have to fire himself. Thankfully, that never happened and Bill would remain an Opry member for over 50 years, until his death in September 1996.

October 17, 1953: Carl Butler made his debut on the Grand Ole Opry. Later, along with his wife Pearl, the Butlers would be Opry members.

October 2, 1954: Elvis Presley made his first and only appearance on the Grand Ole Opry. He sang Bill Monroe's "Blue Moon of Kentucky." Reports had said that Elvis received only modest applause from the Opry audience, which was not that unusual. Legend has it that when he was finished and walking off the stage, Opry manager Jim Denny told Elvis that he should go back to driving a truck. While Elvis's truck driving days were over, he never came back to the Opry. Over the years, there has been some doubt if Jim Denny actually made those comments to Elvis. Either way, Elvis never was invited back. One person who was impressed that night was Bill Monroe, especially after seeing the size of the royalty checks he began to receive after Elvis recorded Bill's song.

October 22, 1955: Jim Reeves became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Over time, Jim would become one of the Opry's biggest stars, but like so many others, he came to realize the limitations of being an Opry member and would move on. His last Opry appearance was in June 1963.

October 29, 1955: For what would be a very short run, Slim Whitman became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. He came and went pretty quickly.

October 19, 1956: Stonewall Jackson was given an audition at the Opry. He passed with flying colors and was invited back to perform on the show, eventually becoming a member on November 3, 1956. Stonewall came to town in his pick-up truck, without a hit record, and stuck it big.

October 15, 1960; While a few different dates have been given over the years, it would appear that Loretta Lynn made her first Opry guest appearance on this date. The Wilburn Brothers were instrumental in getting her that guest spot and she appeared that night on a segment hosted by Ernest Tubb. At the time, Loretta did not have a band so Leslie Wilburn played base and Lester Wilburn played rhythm guitar. Just like in the move, she sang "I'm A Honky-Tonk Girl." The Opry was impressed, and after numerous guest appearances promoted by the Wilburns, Loretta was asked to become an Opry member, which took place in 1962.

October 20, 1962: Leroy Van Dyke became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Like many others, Leroy would only remain with the Opry for a couple of years before moving on. However, after he left, Leroy would occasionally come back for guest appearances.

October 27, 1962: One week after Leroy became an Opry member, Sonny James joined the Opry's cast. Like Leroy, Sonny would leave a few years later as he developed a more sophisticated country sound.

October 23, 1965: Roy Acuff, Jr. made his first guest appearance on the Grand Ole Opry. With his father closely watching, Roy Jr. sang "Baby Just Said Goodbye." His recording and performing work showed the promise of a career in country music, however he preferred to work behind the scenes and his public performing soon ended.

October 14, 1966: Del Reeves became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Introduced by Opry member Porter Wagoner, it was a very emotional night for Del as his parents were in the audience to witness the event. Del was so overcome with emotion that he was unable to make it though his song, breaking down in tears. Del was a popular member of the Opry's cast, and would remain so until his death in January 2007.

October 21, 1967: The Browns: Jim Ed, Maxine and Bonnie, gave their final performance as members of the Grand Ole Opry. While Bonnie and Maxine would retire to raise families, Jim Ed continued on as a solo member of the Opry's cast, until his death in 2015. Even though they retired, the sisters would come back many times to appear with Jim Ed at the Opry, and other venues. The Browns had a big impact on country music, and a string of hits. In 2015, the year Jim Ed passed away, Jim Ed Brown and The Browns were elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame.

October 6, 1968: Former WSM executive Harry Stone passed away at the age of 70. The influence that Harry Stone had on WSM and the Grand Ole Opry was great, perhaps even more so than the Opry's founder George D. Hay. While the founder wanted to keep the Opry simple and down to earth, featuring local and regional musicians, Harry saw the value on the Opry to WSM and National Life. He began to add professional musicians and singers to the Opry cast, including Pee Wee King, Roy Acuff and Eddy Arnold. There was a lot of conflict between George D. Hay and Harry Stone, and in 1932 it reached its high point as Harry became the general manager at WSM, putting him ahead of Hay in the pecking order at the station. Many should thank Harry for his leadership at the Opry, as many of the decisions he made allowed the show to survive while other barn dance shows failed.

October 19, 1968: In an interview published in the Nashville Tennessean, WSM President Irving Waugh said that the Opry's days at the Ryman Auditorium were numbered. The article stated, "The initiation of plans for the relocation of the Opry, possibly as the center of a multi-million dollar hotel and amusement complex, was announced at a breakfast at Municipal Auditorium sponsored by WSM." Irving Waugh said, "Our feeling is that the Grand Ole Opry needs a new, modern facility. It is estimated the center, which would be called Opryland USA, would require between one hundred fifty and two hundred acres of land. The location would not be in the Music Row area." Over time, details would be announced and the Opry would leave downtown and the Ryman for a rural location that became Opryland USA.

October 16, 1971: Freddie Hart made his debut on the Grand Ole Opry. This was also the night of the Opry's 46th birthday celebration.

October 27, 1973: Comedian and story teller Jerry Clower became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. He was the last member to join the Opry while the show was still located at the Ryman Auditorium. When Jerry joined the cast, comedy was still a big part of the show, as Jerry joined fellow comedians Minnie Pearl, Archie Campbell, Grandpa Jones and Lonzo & Oscar as active Opry members.

October 18, 1975: The Grand Ole Opry celebrated its 50th anniversary with a star studded weekend at the Grand Ole Opry House. Looking back, the 50th is considered one of the biggest shows in the history of the Opry.

October 16, 1982: Grand Ole Opry member Doyle Wilburn passed away in Nashville at the age of 52. The Wilburn Brothers, Teddy and Doyle, first appeared on the Opry with the rest of their siblings in the 1940s, however child labor laws sent them away from Nashville and the Opry. They came back, and in 1953 became Opry members. After Doyle's death, Teddy continued on as a solo member of the cast.

October 17, 1982: Alcyone Bate Beasley died. While the name might not mean a lot to some people, Alcyone was there when it all started in 1925 as a member of Dr. Humphrey Bate's Possum Hunters. Dr. Bate was Alcyone's father. After he died, Alcyone worked to keep the Possum Hunters going, but years later,when the square dance bands were merged, the Possum Hunters name disappeared from the Opry's programs. Even in her final years, Alcyone would always appear on the Opry's annual reunion shows.

October 19, 1982: Alabama traveled up to Nashville and made their first appearance on the Opry.

October 24, 1983: Grand Ole Opry member, and one of the originals, Kirk McGee passed away. Along with his brother Sam, Kirk made his first Opry appearance in 1926, back when the show was called the WSM Barn Dance. Over the years, he would be a part of the Dixieliners and the Fruit Jar Drinkers, in addition to performing with his brother. His last Opry show had been the previous Saturday night.

October 19, 1985: Lonzo & Oscar made their final appearance as members of the Grand Ole Opry. Rollin Sullivan, who was Oscar, originally came to the Opry in 1942. Over the years there were three different Lonzos, starting with Ken Marvin, followed by Rollin's brother Johnny, and finally David Hooten.

October 3, 1989: Grand Ole Opry member Del Wood passed away in Nashville after suffering a stroke several weeks later. Del, whose real name was Adelaide Hazelwood, came to the Opry in 1953 and was famous for her ragtime piano playing and her No. 1 hit 'Down Yonder." Much like others, with Del's passing the ragtime piano playing has disappeared from the Opry stage.

October 14, 1989: Holly Dunn became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Holly would remain an Opry member until she left the music business and moved to New Mexico to concentrate on her art work. Holly, who was not happy with her firing from the Opry, passed away from cancer in November 2016.

October 28, 1989: Bill Monroe, the Father of Bluegrass Music, celebrated 50 years as a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Among those appearing on the televised portion that night to honor Bill, which was hosted by Grant Turner, were Emmylou Harris and Larry Cordle.

October 9, 1990: Garth Brooks became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. This will be Garth's 27th year as an Opry member, an honor that he considers one of the most important in his professional career. As Garth continues his world tour, hopefully he will find time to make a stop at the Opry.

October 4, 1991: Diamond Rio made their first guest appearance on the Opry. 7 years later, in 1998, they would become Opry members.

October 19, 1991: Legendary Grand Ole Opry announcer Grant Turner passed away, just hours after announcing the Friday Night Opry. Grant was the dean of Opry announcers and started at WSM on D-Day in 1944. Over the years, he also hosted the Ernest Tubb Midnight Jamboree and the Opry's warm-up show. Grant is also a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame.

October 24, 1991: Gaylord Entertainment Company, owners of WSM and the Grand Ole Opry, listed its stock on the New York Stock Exchange for the first time. Many have said that this is the event that started the downfall of the Opry as the company went public after years of private ownership, and the focus changed. From that point forward, decisions were made based on the effect on the bottom line of the company.

October 23, 1992: Roy Acuff made his final Grand Ole Opry appearance. It was a Friday night show and Roy, in declining health, hosted his segment while sitting in a director's chair. He was scheduled for the following Saturday night, however he took a nap that afternoon and his family decided not to wake him. Days later he entered the hospital for what would be the final time.

October 15, 2000: The Grand Ole Opry celebrated its 75th birthday with four shows that weekend, including two on Saturday night that featured a majority of the Opry's members including Garth Brooks, Dolly Parton, Vince Gill and Alison Krauss. On a personal note, we attended the shows that weekend and they were probably the best, and had the strongest line-ups of any Opry show that I have attended.

October 17, 2002: Grand Ole Opry member Brother Oswald passed away. Beecher Ray Kirby first came to the Opry with Roy Acuff on January 1, 1939. After Roy's death in 1992, Brother Oswald was asked to become an Opry member, a well deserved honor in recognition of over 50 years already appearing on the Opry. Usually during his segment Oswald would perform his dobro with Charlie Collins on guitar.

October 4, 2003: The Grand Ole Opry is televised on Great American Country (GAC) for the first time, moving over after spending several years on Country Music Television (CMT).

October 25, 2003: Del McCoury became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. This will be Del's 14th year as an Opry member. Del, who usually appears on the weeknight shows, was formally inducted by Patty Loveless.

October 1, 2005: Dierks Bentley became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. For Dierks, this will be year number 12 of Opry membership. Dierks, who is a former employee of The Nashville Network, made his Opry debut in April 2003. On the night of his induction, it was Porter Wagoner doing the honors.

October 15, 2005: The Grand Ole Opry celebrated its 80th birthday. Garth Brooks marked the occasion by coming out of retirement and joining Jimmy Dickens, Porter Wagoner and Bill Anderson on stage. For Garth, it was his first Opry appearance in five years. Also on board that night was Garth's friend Steve Wariner.

October 9, 2007: Grand Ole Opry member Porter Wagoner made his final appearance during that night's Tuesday Night Opry. Porter was in declining health and would pass away several months later.

October 27, 2007: Josh Turner became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. This will be year number 10 for Josh, who was honored at the Opry several weeks ago. Josh had made numerous guest appearances on the Opry, performing his hit "Long Black Train." It was during one of those appearances that Roy Clark surprised Josh with an invitation to join the cast.

October 28, 2007: Grand Ole Opry legend Porter Wagoner passed away in Nashville at the age of 80. One of the most popular members in the history of the Opry, Porter had just celebrated his 50th anniversary as a member of the Opry several months before. Not only was he a great solo artist, but he made some great duets with Dolly Parton. Porter died as a result of lung cancer.

October 25, 2008: Craig Morgan became a member of the cast of the Grand Ole Opry. Inducted by John Conlee, Craig will be celebrating 9 years as a member.

October 22, 2010: Blake Shelton became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. This will be Blake's 7th year as an Opry member.

October 8, 2011: During the Opry's 86th birthday celebration, Rascal Flatts were inducted as the newest members of the Grand Ole Opry. Among those on hand that night to welcome the group to the cast was Opry member Vince Gill.

October 16, 2012: Darius Rucker became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. He was surprised during a guest appearance by an audience member, who happened to be Brad Paisley, to come and join the cast. This will be his 5th year as an Opry member and Darius was honored recently by his friend Vince Gill on a special Wednesday Night Opry.

October 23, 2012: On what would have been the 100th birthday of Minnie Pearl, the Grand Ole Opry honored her memory with a special tribute show. Among those appearing that night were Vince Gill, Amy Grant, Pam Tillis and her dad, Mel.

October 3, 2014: During a guest appearance on the Friday Night Opry, Little Big Town was surprised when Reba McEntire walked out on stage during their performance to ask the group if they wished to become the newest members of the Grand Ole Opry. Of course, they said yes, and on October 17th, they were formally inducted.

Wow. There you have the highlights for this month.